Peter Capaldi Doctor Who.jpg

Bookies have suspended betting on the new Doctor Who because they are convinced Peter Capaldi has got the job.

The actor, famous for his role as foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, was down to 5/6 favourite with William Hill when they stopped taking bets.

Joe Crilly, a spokesman for the firm, said: "We have seen people today trying to back Peter Capaldi as much as possible at every price available and after a small gamble on Daniel Rigby overnight, it seems that Capaldi is once again in line to move into the Tardis."

The identity of the latest star to play the time lord will be unveiled live on television this weekend amid tight security in a bid to prevent the identity leaking out.

Sources close to the show said only 10 people know the name of the new doctor, who will replace Matt Smith, and they are using the codename Houdini to try and keep it a secret.

Capaldi is a life-long fan of the show and even wrote a letter to the Radio Times about the Daleks when he was a teenager.

Plans for this Sunday's half-hour show, which goes out at 7pm, were kept secret with a repeat of Celebrity Mastermind put in listings in its place.

The show will be presented by Zoe Ball and feature interviews with Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat as well as celebrity fans and some previous incarnations of the science-fiction hero.

Other names that were mentioned as possible contenders include Daniel Rigby, whose award-winning performance as Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie beat Smith to the best actor TV Bafta in 2011, and Cutting It star Ben Daniels.

Mr Moffat said: "The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who's taking over the Tardis. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking 12."

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said: "We can't wait to unveil the next Doctor with everyone live on BBC1 on Sunday night.

"Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we've been using the codename Houdini as a decoy.

"It's the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12 incarnation."

Downey and Paltrow Iron Man 3.jpg

Gwyneth Paltrow has branded her Iron Man co-star Robert Downey Junior a "wimp" - after she donned the superhero suit for their latest film.

The actress, who stars as Pepper Potts with Downey in Iron Man 3, says the new film was her chance to "kick ass".

Appearing on tomorrow night's Graham Norton Show, she reveals: "I get to do a bit of action and I get to wear the Iron Man suit for a while - it's very cool.

"It's quite cumbersome but not so bad. I thought it was going to be terrible because in the first two movies Robert would put on the suit and start sweating, he'd have a nervous breakdown and would meditate and cry. He was in hell.

"So, I was like, 'Wow, I'd better start mentally preparing myself for the suit,' and I put it on and was like, 'This guy is a wimp, it's really not that bad."'

The actress tells the chat show host that her son Moses is "a big fan" of the films.

"I'll never forget his face when he saw me walk out in the suit," she reveals. "It was a really good moment."

This week's show, which also includes Olympic runner Mo Farah and comic Lee Mack, is on BBC One at 10.35pm tomorrow.


He escaped Darth Vader's death hold, but on Tuesday Death Star commander Admiral Motti died at the age of 66.

Character actor Richard LeParmentier, who played the hapless Imperial officer, died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning in Austin, Texas while visiting his children.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

LeParmentier was born in Pittsburgh, but moved to Britain in 1974 and had been living in Bath, when he died.

As Admiral Motti in 1977's Star Wars, LeParmentier's character mocks Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion."

Vader responds with a demonstration, using the force to choke the young commander, but allowing him to live.

LeParmentier appeared frequently in British television roles throughout his career and was working as a screenwriter when he died.

He played a reporter in 1980's Superman II, which featured actress Sarah Dougless - the villainess Ursa - with whom he was married from 1981 until 1984.

But it was for his Star Wars role that LeParmentier may best be remembered as an actor.

"He absolutely loved traveling the world and meeting his friends and fellow Stars Wars fans, whose tributes have given us all the best lines in this message," LeParmentier's family said in a statement.

"He was no respecter of convention, except comic conventions," said Rhiannon, Stephanie and Tyrone LeParmentier.

"Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him," they said.

Juxtaposed images of Superman and Clark Kent

Juxtaposed images of Superman and Clark Kent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I grew up with the Christopher Reeve Superman films.

Alongside Star Wars they were the greatest films ever to me.

Looking back now they are still great fun, but massively flawed.

I have been wary of the new Man Of Steel film but after watching the latest trailer I have to say it looks pretty immense.


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Hit 1970s sci-fi series Blake's 7 is to make a comeback - more then 30 years after it disappeared from TV screens.

A 13-part series, described as a "revolutionary reinvention" of the BBC programme, is now being developed with Casino Royale director Martin Campbell already on board.

There have been attempts to rejuvenate the show in the past but they have failed to come to fruition.

FremantleMedia International announced today that the series is in the pipeline with Heroes and CSI writer Joe Pokaski working on scripts.

It is being developed with US cable network Syfy.

The original series starred Gareth Thomas as Blake, a political dissident, although he was a regular character in only the first two of the four series. It was created by Terry Nation, a regular writer for Doctor Who who conjured up the Daleks.

The new series, set in 2136, tells the story of seven criminals heading to a prison colony in space who escape and take over an alien ship.

David Ellender, the CEO of FremantleMedia International said: "Blake's 7 was such a forward-thinking concept that the show continues to have resonance with audiences today.

"Its complex characters and gritty storylines, coupled with the highly talented team and modern production techniques are sure to appeal to both original fans of the show and new viewers."

Blake's 7 has been revived on radio but efforts to bring it back to the screen - including a Sky-backed return - have not got off the ground until now.

DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary Matt Smith.jpg

Doctor Who and sexy sidekick Clara roar down the side of London's Shard - on a motorbike.

It's just one of the sensational scenes coming up as the telly Timelord celebrates the big five-oh.

In fact, actor Matt Smith says fans can look forward to it being the "biggest, best, most inventive and most exciting year for the show" as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The first episode of the new series hits television screens next month and sees the timelord defy gravity by roaring up and down the Shard building on a motorcycle.

A special 3D anniversary show will also be broadcast in November but Smith and co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, are remaining tight-lipped about what viewers can expect.

Smith says he clapped when he read the script.

"It sort of does what it says on the tin," he grins. "You won't be disappointed!

"I think it's hilarious, I think it's epic and I think it's fast, and I'm telling you nothing more - but you will NOT be disappointed.

DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary .jpg

"I think it's going to be the biggest, best, most inventive and most exciting year for the show and I think this script delivers on all those points that you want it to for where the show is at this time, it's brilliant."

Jenna-Louise adds: "It pays homage to the last 50 years of the show and kind of really celebrates that, but at the same time as looking forward."

The pair have been speaking at a special screening of the first episode of series eight in London.

The Bells of St John is described as a modern day urban thriller and sees the duo battling a new adversary, the Spoonheads, against a backdrop of London landmarks including Westminster Bridge and the Shard as they discover something sinister lurking in the Wi-Fi.

Matt says: "It's sort of Doctor Who meets the Bourne Identity with motorcycles. We've got Celia Imrie being saucy and sexy, we have got aliens in your Wi-Fi, Westminster, the Shard, London in the present day, with the Tardis in the middle of it."

He says he thought Coleman had made a "brilliant" start in her role as Clara.

"She's inventive, she works tirelessly hard. And I'm really proud of what she's achieved," he adds.

"After the Ponds I think the doctor was a little blue. I think she's re-ignited his curiosity in the universe and her impossibility has sort of awakened his mind and his soul and that's something that we'll see grow and evolve as the series continues."

Former Emmerdale star Jenna-Louise says she has already had a "wonderful" time on the show.


"It's such a unique job," she smiles. "I can honestly say there really is no job like Doctor Who. You can be a big kid at work and run down the corridors being chased by monsters and the scripts are just absolutely fantastic."

Speaking of Matt, she adds: "He's just an absolute genuine joy, he's been absolutely so supportive and totally and utterly there for me and he's a really good friend."

Executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat says the new series will see Doctor Who's biggest secret revealed.

"We're not kidding, we are actually going to do it, we're going to reveal his biggest secret," he says.

Our money is on his real name, something River Song already knows ...

And will the big anniversary episode feature ALL the Time Lord's incarnations, as we've predicted in the past?

No-one's saying. We'll take that as a good sign...


MCM Birmingham Comic Con and Memorabilia, Britain's biggest collectors' event, both come to the NEC on 16-17 March, and the line-up is looking good.

Here's a selection of the special guests attending the shows:

• Potter Personalities - Chris Rankin, who plays Percy Weasley in six of the blockbuster Harry Potter films, Steffan Rhodri, who was Reg Cattermole in Deathly Hallows and Hugh Mitchell, who appears as Gryffindor student Colin Creevey in The Order Of The Phoenix. Steffan is also famous for playing Dave in hit comedy Gavin & Stacey, and recently won plaudits as the voice of Drippy in acclaimed videogame Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch.

• Primeval stars Andrew Lee Potts (Connor Temple), Hannah Spearritt (Abby Maitland), also famous as an original member of S Club 7, and Lucy Brown, who played both Claudia Brown and Jenny Lewis.

• For Doctor Who fans there's Colin Baker, who starred as the sixth incarnation of The Doctor, Nicola Bryant, who played his companion Peri Brown and Sophie Aldred, who was The Doctor's companion Ace. Other Doctor Who guests include Frazer Hines, who played Jamie McCrimmon in no fewer than 117 episodes of the show; Terry Molloy, best known as the Daleks' villainous creator Davros, and stuntman Jimmy Vee, who has played a host of monsters and aliens in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

• Bond girl and Avengers star Honor Blackman. Other Bond girls at Memorabilia include Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger), Lana Wood (Diamonds Are Forever) and Maryam d'Abo (The Living Daylights).

• Iconic glamour model Samantha Fox. As well as being the most popular pin-up girl of the '80s, Sam is a 30 million album-selling pop singer and actor.

• Gary Dourdan, best known for portraying Warrick Brown in eight seasons of the massively popular CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

• A trio of bold knights from Merlin will be at comic con: Alexander Vlahos (Mordred), Rupert Young (Sir Leon) and Eoin Macken (Sir Gwain).

• Canadian actor Connor Jessup, best known for his role as Ben Mason in the Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi series Falling Skies.

• Emmy-winning Italian actress Greta Scacchi, whose credits include Robert Altman's The Player, White Mischief, Presumed Innocent and Broken Trail.

• Michael Beck, best known for his role as Swan in Walter Hill's 1979 cult classic The Warriors. Also appeared in hit sci-fi show Babylon 5.

• Oliver! Reunion - Oscar-nominated Ron Moody, best known as Fagin in Lionel Bart's stage and film musical Oliver!, Mark Lester, who played Oliver Twist and Shani Wallis, who played Sikes' long-suffering girlfriend Nancy.

• Masters of Horror - best known by his stage name John Morghen, Giovanni Lombardo Radice achieved cult status with his roles in 1980's Italian splatter movies such as Cannibal Ferox, City Of The Living Dead and Cannibal Apocalypse. He'll be joined at Memorabilia by scream queen Madeline Smith (The Vampire Lovers, Frankenstein And The Monster from Hell) and Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist).

• Derren Nesbit, best known as SS Major von Hapen in Where Eagles Dare. Derren's credits also include The Prisoner, Doctor Who and The Saint.

• Adrian Hall and Heather Ripley, who played Jeremy and Jemima Potts in Ian Fleming's much-loved musical film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

• British TV classics: Jan Harvey and Stephen Yardley, who starred as Jan Howard and Ken Masters in Howard's Way, and Judy Cornwall, best known for playing Daisy in long-running sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

Tickets for MCM Birmingham Comic Con on 16-17 March are available at

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harrison Ford was first to admit he will be returning for the next Disney produced Star Wars film and now it seems his old pal Mark Hamill is next in line.

It's not official yet but in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight he said:

""They're talking to us," he reveals. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested.

"He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts - they would write us out. ... I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts.

"We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am.

"I'd want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that's around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody's on board here, rather than just one.

"I'm assuming, because I haven't talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring -- like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character. "

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Being Human viewers will get a quick glimpse of new BBC Three drama In The Flesh on Sunday at 10:58pm.

The exciting new three-part drama tells the story of zombie teenager Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry) and his reintegration back into both the local community and the heart of his family.

The story follows the re-animation of the dead and the zombies gradually being returned to their homes.

The zombies are known as PDS sufferers (Partially Deceased Syndrome) - and they have to try and integrate back into society four years after violent and bloody battles when the zombie outbreak happened.


Writer Dominic Mitchell explains in more depth: "When I first came up with the idea, I was always 'what would really happen in a zombie apocalypse?' Not the movie version, but the real version. And in the real version, in my head, the scientists would always be trying to find a cure, or find some way to manage the undead.

"I want it to be for a really wide audience and to talk about real issues, real family issues, real domestic issues, and we play with the zombie methodology. We do have a few scenes of real great zombie genre stuff, but then you have a scene where it's really domestic and they're sitting around the table just trying to be a family again, and that's what I really wanted it to do. So, your Grandma can watch it, hopefully, and really enjoy it, and it can speak to her as well as speak to the teenage zombie horror fan.

"Kieren isn't comfortable in his 'undead' state, he didn't want to come back, he wanted to be dead. That's a journey for Kieren - here's someone who didn't want to be alive and now he's alive again, and he's discovering that life is worth living, weirdly, but now he's partially deceased.

"It's about redemption, forgiveness and battling against prejudices, and that prejudices can cause chaos if there is no forgiveness - that causes chaos to you and the community."

Tune into Being Human this Sunday at 10pm on BBC Three - the one-off teaser trailer for In The Flesh will screen straight after.

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English: The title for Being Human.

English: The title for Being Human. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The acclaimed BBC 3 drama Being Human will end after the current series it has been revealed today.

I'm a massive fan of the show but I have to say after the last series I am pretty glad to hear it.

There has been much hype about the new series but for me the show lost it's fangs when Mitchell, George and Annie were written out.

The show was fantastic to start with but the very essence of what made it such a ground-breaking sharp show has been lost and to coin a phrase it has 'jumped the shark' a few times since.

A shame. I hope Toby Whitehouse has something else excellent up his sleeves.

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